Disclaimer: I do not claim ownership of Harry Potter, the character, settings or plots that have been born from the magnificent mind of J.K. Rowling. For those too incompetent to understand words longer than two syllables: I do not own Harry Potter.
This is Parseltongue
There will be slash
Once he was done telling most of what had happened while being with the Order, Harry fell silent, waiting for Voldemort's response. For a long while the man was quiet, luckily enough the hand in Harry's hair no longer felt like it was ripping hair strands out as it had treated to do far more times than Harry felt was deserved during the storytelling time.
"I seem to be on an impasse. Either you are the most unlucky person with all the situations you seem to get yourself into or you are one of the luckiest ones because you can get yourself out of those again with merely scratches on your person."
Lifting his left arm Harry looked pointedly at it. He definitely didn't feel lucky. But compared to what could have happened, he supposed that he had gotten lightly of.
A hand closed lightly around his tightly and clean bandaged wrist and led it down so his arm was resting across his chest. His gaze stayed at the cut off limb and Harry was sure he wasn't imagining the fury.
Harry followed his line of sight, speculating what had happened to his hand. Later, he would see if he could find the place he had followed Hedwig to. Animals had probably eaten the hand, but at least he should be able to find the bracelet. With their desire to remain hidden from unfriendly eyes it was safe to assume that the rebels had left the jewellery behind and Harry doubted any animal would have an interest in the metal. "How did I get here?" It had nagged him since wakening, but Voldemort had been more interested in listening to his report rather than answering his question, making it clear that it could wait until later.
In Harry's opinion later had come now.
"The Portkey in Bellatrix's vault transported the two of you directly into the middle of Greyback's territory. If it had been any other werewolf you had met, you would most likely both have been dead by now. But one of the reasons to why Greyback is the leader of the biggest pack in Great Britain is because he retains a part of his human mind under the transformation without the harming aid of the Wolfsbane Potion. As soon as he had reversed back to human, he carried you to the border of his territory and Apparated directly to here." Digesting what had been said, Harry stared past Voldemort and up at the ceiling.
So, he really was back, and by the looks of it he was in Voldemort's bed. It left Harry wondering how much of a protest Severus had put up about not having him placed in the Hospital Wing.
Then again, a Dark Lord would hardly comply with those below him if he didn't feel like doing so.
"I was sent your hand after your disappearance. Once a Healer has given you the clearance, they will be able to reattach it due to the charms that were placed on it to keep it from rotting. However, before that can happen all those potions need to have left your system."
At those words Harry lifted his upper body in a sweeping move, not listening to the way his muscles protested at his sudden movements, and crashed his mouth against Voldemort's own. The hand in his hair twisted to keep him in place as a warm tongue prodded his lips to gain entrance.
Only too willingly did Harry let the tongue in, battling against it with his own while his hand roamed over whatever part of Voldemort's body he could reach. With a frustrated growl he found that he could not undo the buttons on the shirt Voldemort was wearing with a single hand. Harry broke off the kiss. Really, he would love to keep going, especially since the kiss seemed to clear his head, but the layers of clothes Voldemort was wearing would be going, one way or another.
As if sensing his rising ire Voldemort surged down and nibbled his jaw none too gentle before moving downwards. Reaching the collar of the pyjamas Harry was wearing the man emitted a growl and a moment later both of them were as naked as the day they had been born.
Feeling Voldemort's body move against his own, Harry slammed his head backwards, thankful of the pillow he hit as a headache really was the last thing he needed right now.
Not wanting to let Voldemort have all the fun, as the man seemed busy with stroking and mapping every part of what he could touch, Harry wrapped his legs around the other's waist, grounding their awakening erections against each other.
Joyful over the pleased moan he managed to get from the other with that move, Harry looked up, only to find Voldemort looking down at him with a thoughtful expression. "So impatient, my little seer." A thumb caressed his cheek and the shark like grin he wore belied the gentle tone he had spoken the words in. At the same time Voldemort's fingers found their way to his nipples and twisted harshly, making him ache his back in response. But he rather enjoyed the glazed look in Voldemort's eyes when the action pushed their erections against each other, creating a blissful friction.
Every line of Voldemort's body was pressed against him, crowding Harry in the process.
Harry lifted him up and gave Voldemort's ear a sharp nip, not wanting to be the only one who received a little pain. The tiny jerk Voldemort's body reluctantly gave made Harry want to laugh. With his teeth still lodged in his flesh it was not as if the man could do much more than that. Harry let loosed and instead he soothed the lope with a gentle lick of his tongue.
Harry gasped as Voldemort gripped his cock with one hand, and started to move it, massaging the warm, soft flesh in his hand, making Harry's breath hitch. Every muscle locked up and became taunt. His cock grew harder with each sure stroke and Harry was only too aware of the flush spreading on his face, damn it had been too long.
"You're mine." Voldemort whispered, managing to sound soft and commanding at the same time as he sped up the movements. Red eyes were staring down at him, watching his every reaction as Harry felt a small fire coil inside him.
With each sharp tug Harry could feel his control slipping away. Colour flooded his cheeks and his eyes fluttered at their own will. Both of them were breathing in sharp pants, edged on by the other.
A soft whimper escaped Harry as Voldemort twisted and squeezed, but the sound was swallowed by Voldemort before it could leave his mouth.
Another twist and Harry felt himself become undone, shouting out though once again the sound was swallowed by Voldemort before the sound could possible leave his mouth.
Just for a moment he felt like he was surrounded by complete whiteness. Soon it was over and his sight returned, blinking he found that Voldemort was still over him, watching him. "From now on, you are not allowed to leave my side." Voldemort muttered, barely loud enough for Harry to hear it.
After a moment Voldemort sat up, adjusting the covers so Harry was fully covered. A swipe of his hand left Harry feeling as clean as he could without getting an actual bath. "Get some rest, you are tired and this much activity can't be healthy at your current state."
Harry opened his mouth, fully planning on coming with some smart retort. But tiredness was getting a rather firm grip on him. "I will, see you later." He closed his eyes, feeling Voldemort lean forward and brush his lips against his. Harry fell back into darkness with a content smile.
"My lord, I normally respect the decisions you make, but this time you have overstepped the boundary." Withholding a groan, Harry burrowed his nose deeper into the pillow. Why couldn't people keep quiet so he could go back to sleep? That shouldn't be so hard to achieve. "This is the exact reason to why it would have been better for the brat to stay elsewhere. The potions are still in his system and I have not completed my research for the consequences of such a combination. Even though he vomited, some of the Strengthening solution and the Polyjuice Potion have been absorbed by his body, and did have the chance to mix with what else the Order fed him. Without knowing what it is, even the slightest effort from Harry can bring an unwanted reaction."
If there was a response, it was too low for Harry to hear it, but Severus carried on, not to be detached from the subject.
Realising that more sleep, no matter how much he wanted for it to come, would have to wait until he got his peace, Harry pushed the cover aside and glared at the two other people in the room. "Shut up, some of us are trying to sleep." With the message delivered, he laid down again and pulled the cover over his head, fully intending to go back to sleep.
Hurried footsteps approached him and before Harry had the opportunity to tense or think of reacting, the cover was ripped off and his eyes were assaulted with sun light, much brighter than it had been the last time he had been conscious.
Coal coloured orbs stared down at him and a raised black eyebrow easily conveyed that the man was anything but impressed with him right now. Harry couldn't stop his body from curling slightly in on itself. This wasn't exactly how he had expected it to go when he got the chance to see Severus again.
But the way that Severus' hands fluttered over his body, righting the bandage on his wrist and brushing carefully over bruises Harry wasn't even sure how he had gotten, told Harry all that he needed to know. But when Severus turned his attention on his hair, the seer felt a touch of annoyance. Especially when Severus seemed to take it as a personal offence when Harry's hair refused to lie down. "Wipe that grin off your face, brat. You have no reason to act like you have accomplished anything. Do you have any idea of how careless your actions have been?" Severus scolded while keeping up his attempts on taming Harry's hair.
The smile gave away for a confused and slightly defeated frown. He had already sat through a lecture from Voldemort about the incapability of his actions, and he really didn't want another round of that. Not that it would accomplish anything since Harry had no intention of regretting what he had done; he had gotten Draco back, so there was no reason for him to repent.
Sitting up, with some help from Severus, who was definitely not hovering over him, Harry realised what Severus had been talking about with Voldemort when he awoke. While Voldemort was wearing comfortable robes, it seemed that he had failed to do Harry the same favour after the seer had fallen asleep.
Rather annoying since it was Voldemort's fault in the first place that Harry was naked; Harry glared at the man, a rather pointless action by the lack of reaction he got for his effort.
A whack on top of his head withdrew an unwilling yelp from Harry and rubbing the sore spot he glared up at his guardian. "If you are done with spacing out, perhaps you will explain what caused you to believe that physical activities would be a bright idea after what you have been through." Understanding that it was Severus' own way of showing his concern, Harry bit back the first five sharp retorts that came to mind. He really didn't want to set off Severus' temper, especially when he wasn't feeling up to dealing with it.
"The boy was getting too warm so I decided to cool him down." Apparently Voldemort decided to take pity on him after watching Harry squirm under Severus' gaze. Personally, the seer did not want to deal with the embarrassment it was to explain something related to his relationship with Voldemort.
Going by his tight lipped expression, Severus didn't believe a word of what Voldemort said, but fearing that he had used his quota of arguing with the Dark Lord without being punished, the Potions master held his tongue, though Harry had no doubt that the thoughts running through Severus' head right now would be rather interesting to listen to.
Relaxing back against the headboard, Harry folded his hands in his lap, securing the cover in the process. "What are we doing about Dumbledore?" The question fulfilled its purpose, distracting the two men before an argument could break out between them. Taking a side in such a discussion was something Harry really did not want to do.
Voldemort was the first one to answer him, though the Dark Lord was still glowering darkly at Severus, making it clear that he would not let go of the fact that the other wizard had dared to overstep a line. "For now we will wait and plan our next move. After losing you, Dumbledore will be careful, even more now where he has discovered that there was a spy in his ranks. He will search for more weak points within his people, which will cost him time and resources. Once he is ready to make his move to destroy me, we will be ready to put an end to Dumbledore and his little group of rebels." Voldemort explained, leaving no room to doubt that it would go as he had said.
A small frown furrowed his brow as Harry caught onto what Voldemort meant. "You plan to use what I told him about Horcruxes." It had to be what Voldemort was hinting at, it fit perfectly to what the man had said. "It makes sense." He continued, mostly to himself. "Dumbledore will believe that there are more, since it would be unwise to let your immortality depend on one object when it in theory should be possible to make more." And if Voldemort placed objects that could pass for Horcruxes, it would be possible to take out the rebels with curses and traps that would protect the so-called Horcruxes.
Quite a brilliant plan, if he should say so himself.
"Indeed, already I have sent people out to either place the things or to leave leads for Dumbledore to follow. The old man believes that he knows me the best since he once taught me when I was a student here. However, that belief will be his downfall." Conjuring a chair Voldemort set down and, after a pointed look from Harry transformed one for Severus to use as well. Really, they were so petty about this and all because they disagreed about where he was supposed to be sleeping. In truth, Harry didn't care as long as it was in a bed and away from the Order.
The plan could work, it depended a lot on luck and how Voldemort supposed that Dumbledore would react, but it might actually work to weaken their forces to the point where the Order was desperate enough to make a fatal mistake and thus easily taken out.
The door to the room opened and two large shapes close to the floor headed straight for Harry with a great speed. Neither of the wizards reacted as Harry suddenly found the two snakes winding tightly around his body, a head on each of his shoulders. Harry swayed a little under their combined weight before steadying himself. "Little speaker smells of mating." Diablo proclaimed, his forked tongue flickering against the shell of Harry's left ear.
"Shut up." He hissed back, his face red though only one other person in the room was able to understand what was being said, and judging from the conversation he had awoken to, Severus too knew what had happened, or at least he had a suspicion about it.
"But master doesn't smell of sex." Nagini mused, carrying on as if she hadn't heard Harry speak in the first place. "Has little speaker been mating with someone else?" She snapped his jaws dangerously close to Harry's face, not looking like she took her own words serious. But having seen the snake devour a full grown man for less Harry remained tense.
"Nagini, my dear, I am able to take care of my bonded needs and my own, he would never be unwise enough to search attention from someone else." Seemingly subsided by the words, Nagini emitted pleased hisses when Voldemort started scratching her on top on his head. "Now where that has been solved, at the current point there is nothing you can do bare for making sure that you return to your optimal health. The ball is in Dumbledore's hands, and what needs to be prepared is easily taken care of. There are matters elsewhere that require my attention, but Severus will keep you entertained until my return."
Knowing that arguing at this point was a moot point, Harry settled back against the pillows, careful not to unsettle the snakes moving around so that they still could be as close as possible to him without being squeezed as he lay down. Voldemort leaned down and planted a brief kiss on his lips, before stepping away from the bed and leaving through the door.
"I assume that you have been too occupied to learn what is wrong with you?" The blush returned to Harry's face, knowing that Severus would not be letting go of this anytime soon. Hearing a heaved sigh and then feeling the bed dip, Harry looked away from the door and saw Severus seated on the edge of the bed.
With a neutral expression on his face, Severus leaned over and placed a hand on his forehead. Knowing that there was plenty of spells that could give him a more sure way of reading his temperature, Harry sighed and accepted the touch of comfort for what it was. This was one of the things he had missed. The small touches in secret where Severus was able to tell him what the man for once could not conceive through his words.
When the hand moved, it didn't withdraw, but settled down on his arm, careful not to touch any part of the snakes wound round him. "Normally, you would get a lecture because I know that you know better than to mix potions that are not supposed to be combined. But given the circumstances I say that you are excused this one time." Harry wanted to whoop, or something else to express the joy he felt, but the energy he had had before, seemed to have been drained from his body during his conversation.
Perhaps, it was a good enough thing that Voldemort had assigned him bed rest, he wouldn't be climbing out of the windows today at least.
"The combination caused a fever, and until yesterday you were on a Muggle I.D, since you were unable to keep food down given to you in any other way." It sounded a little too much to how he had been when he first had ended with Severus. If not because of the circumstances, he would have felt nostalgic at the reminder. "You were also delicious, and tried to do harm to yourself, mostly by raging your nails over your arms." Well, that explained the extra bandages he could see. "You are underweight, and because of the Vision Inducing potion, I haven't been able to give your anything that would have accelerated you healing process. Your body shows lack of nutrition, which will be taken care of right away, and motion, that will be done something about once the Healer has deemed you well enough to leave the bed. Furthermore, the Healer we called suggests that you and Draco see a Mind Healer to ensure that you are not too affected by what has been done to you."
"I don't need to see a shrink!" Harry sat up, only to be dragged down in a lying position by the two snakes whom hissed unpleasantness at being awoken from the slumber they had fallen into. Scowling Harry sent Severus a dark look. "I'm perfectly fine, I don't need to speak with a Mind Healer." He had a sneaking suspicious, that if he got forced to talk with one of those, they would commit him to St Mungo's, no matter what else Harry had to say.
It was Severus' hand on his arm that brought Harry out of his train of dark thoughts. "If I deem it unnecessary, then you will not be going." Knowing that Severus would keep his word, Harry relaxed back on the pillows. "A trip to St Mungo's will however be required, as it is the only place that has the necessary facility to give you your hand back. Unfortunately, it is one of the things that cannot be achieved by the help of potions alone, and thus we have to depend on others in this matter. Of course, there will be low risks, it is one of the advantages by being in the Dark Lord's favour, he ensures that you are giving the pre-eminent treatment."
Realising that Severus was rambling, though the Potions master gave no visible sign on what bothered him, Harry found himself smiling at the man. "I'm sure that it'll be okay, and as soon as it's done, we can start brewing some potions again. I hope that you haven't let them pile up in my absence." He teased in a light tone, having a feeling that there would be plenty of work to do once he was back on his feet.
"Insolent brat, daring to imply that I would neglect my work. Much can you say about me, but I never abandon the duties that have been placed on me. Instead of rambling, you should use the opportunity to catch up on some of your sleep. Being unconscious does not have the same benefits as real rest does, and it's clearly affecting your way of thinking." Severus leaned over and ruffled his hair, effectively undoing any success the man might have had in his attempts to tame Harry's mop of hair.
Despite feeling the truth of what Severus had said, Harry just kept staring at Severus in silence, making the man sigh. It was something he hadn't done since being young, but right now Harry felt the need to hear Severus' voice and the man wasn't one for idle talking.
With a sigh Severus produced a thin and fragile looking book from the depth of one of his pockets, letting Harry settle down as he browsed through the book, looking for the correct page. "Understand that this is the only time I'm doing this, brat. This is not going to be a habit."
Smiling brightly Harry nodded. It was the exact words Severus had used one night when Harry had been unable to go to sleep. The fact that Severus still had the book on him and was willing to do it again made him feel warm and fuzzy inside, or perhaps that feeling had something to do with the fact that he was so damn tired.
"Felix Felicis, also known as 'liquid luck', was first brewed in 1864. One of its signatures is a colour of molten gold and the fact that it is highly toxic in large quantities." Listening to Severus' voice explain the history of Felix Felicis and then the potion's brewing process, Harry drifted off again, satisfied with the knowledge that he was safe, and already planning for how he should convince those two to let him take part of putting an end to Dumbledore.
There were ten steps from the bed to the window; it wouldn't take him more than five seconds to cross the floor, less if he ran. Surely, it would be enough for him to get out before he could be stopped. After that, he just had to climb down the wall, he had done it before so it should be doable.
Harry swung his legs over the edge, surprised that his current guard hadn't stopped him. Normally, Bellatrix would stop him before he could as much as twist towards getting out of bed. But the two snakes were doing a rather brilliant job at distracting the witch; somehow having gotten her wand from her while Bellatrix didn't pay any attention. He pushed himself up in a standing position.
When the axis seemed to tilt, Harry grabbed the nearest bedpost to keep himself from falling. After a minute he felt secure that he wouldn't fall and dared to let go and take a few steps. After spending four days in bed and not even being allowed to use the bathroom, it sure had left some traces.
Taking a few more steps Harry was happy to note that he seemed to get steadier, clearly the others had misjudged by deciding that he had to stay in bed. He was fine enough to walk around as he wanted to, and if he had to prove it to them before it was accepted, then so it be.
He reached the window without any trouble, and his fingers were fumbling with the latches so he would be able to open it and slip out before Bellatrix figured out what he was doing. "Don't even think about it." Harry froze, going cross-eyed at the finger waving in front of his face. He had thought that Bellatrix would have been plenty distracted by the two snakes, but how the hell had she moved so fast across the room without him noticing anything? "My naughty, little nephew ain't going nowhere unless you want the Dark Lord to give you a nice spanking."
"I just wanted to open the window." He grumbled, knowing that he couldn't make a run for it now where Bellatrix had figured out what he was doing, though he didn't know how she had reached that conclusion.
"Fine do that, and then it's right back to bed."
With a scowl Harry opened the window. He considered carrying through with his plan to go out of the window and clip down the wall until he reached the ground. He had done it before, and at that time he hadn't been feeling on top either, so he should be able to scale the wall safely without falling.
And maybe, if he was fast enough he could slip out fast enough so Bellatrix wouldn't be able to stop him.
"Do that, and I will hex you so that you are paralysed from neck down." Bellatrix said, her wand reclaimed and held lazily by her side, but ready to use within a moment's notice. "I don't think that the Dark Lord will be pleased to hear that his precious bonded planned to climb the walls when he can barely manage the walk over to the window."
For once Harry wished that Bellatrix was less observant. He had managed to ignore the way his legs shook under the effort of keeping him standing and upright. Now where he looked down, the ground seemed awfully far away, and it made his head swirl when he looked down at it for too long. He could already imagine the pain the meeting with the ground would inflict on him if he fell from here. And with his luck he would survive the fall, but break every bone in his body in the process.
But if it meant that he could get out of the room...
"If you want to go outside, then go." Bellatrix encouraged, making Harry spin around so hard that it took his brain a moment to follow along the movement.
"B-but Severus said that I had to stay here." He protested feebly, knowing that this time there had been placed plenty of security measures to ensure that he would not be able to leave the room on his own. The plan about slipping out through the window was probably doomed to fail anyway. After having pulled the same stunt twice, they probably had learned their lesson by now and would not allow him to slip away
"And when has that stopped you from doing as you want to?" Her question made Harry pause. It seemed right. After he had come back from the Order, heck even before that, he had never followed commands. Had he really turned into such a person that when Voldemort told him to jump, he didn't even need to ask how high before doing it?
With a wide smile that made his cheeks hurt, Harry turned to face Bellatrix, who was already over by the door, having danced across the floor to avoid stepping on the two snakes. "You know what? I think I want to go outside." Actually, he wanted to see Draco, but figured that the blond was kept at home where his parents could keep an eye on him and the house-elves could carter to his every need.
So, outside it would be.
Coming to Bellatrix's side Harry scowled at the closed door. This time Voldemort had done his homework. Harry hadn't personally tested it, but he knew that some kind of spell was placed on the door and windows to keep him from leaving through either of them.
Before he could start to speculate exactly how they were supposed to get any further than this, Harry found himself pulled close against Bellatrix, her bosom rubbing uncomfortably against his side, as the witch pushed the door open and stepped out of the room, forcing Harry to follow along unless he wanted to fall and make a fool out of himself.
To his surprise Harry found them passing through whatever barricade that was supposed to keep him inside the room, and he felt nothing. Had it merely been a trick to keep him inside? Harry doubted that Voldemort would rely on him following orders rather than taking some measures to ensure that he went nowhere.
And yet Bellatrix had found some way to get past it.
"Who-Why-How did you do it?" Truth to be told, he wouldn't be surprised if the witch was able to do such a thing because she followed some logic that only made sense to her; something akin to if they kept close together the wards wouldn't be able to tell them apart and thus they were able to pass through it without any trouble.
He would have to test that theory at a later opportunity.
But it really wouldn't surprise him if the witch had had no plan and had simply wanted to see if they got electrocuted upon trying to leave. With someone as Bellatrix Lestrange, it was next to impossible to tell which one it would be.
The witch let go of him as soon as they were outside of Voldemort's quarters, and Harry allowed himself a moment to righten himself while looking around. It was still early in the morning, yet there was no one to be seen. Not really surprising since they were in exam time. The students were either busy with studying, or trying to catch up on some sleep after pulling all nighters with studying.
"Can you do something about this?" He asked, gesturing vaguely towards the nightclothes he was wearing, they stood out uncomfortably, and he really didn't want to be spotted easier when someone realised that he was not where he was supposed to be.
Harry forced himself to not seek cover when Bellatrix twirled her wand around before pointing its end at him, a crazy grin gracing her face. It was a shame that Rodolphus or Rabastan were not here to keep her in check, but then again, the two wizards would probably be the voices of reason and hinder him from leaving the room.
After a swift and a strange tingling sensation Harry looked down himself, finding the nightclothes changed into ink black robe. Much better, and less conspicuous than what he had been wearing before.
With a grin, much more honest than when he smiled last time; Harry offered the witch his arm. "Shall we get going, my lady?" For a moment he wondered if he had overstepped a boundary when Bellatrix looked down at his arm with pursed lips. Harry ignored the way his legs were already shaking from walking. If it kept up like this, then he wouldn't be able to get outside.
He didn't protest when she grabbed him by the arm and started pulling him down the corridor, void of people, his laughter mixing with the sound of the witch's mad crackling.
Despite the ruckus they made, no one attempted to put a stop on their outing. Of course, those few students that they met on their way were busy with avoiding Bellatrix than alerting some of the professors that something might be going on. Going with someone rumoured to be unstable had its benefits.
They were forced to stop a few times to allow Harry to catch his breath. He was quite sure that it wasn't because he was out of shape; rather Bellatrix seemed to have taken them on a longer detour to make sure that they wouldn't be caught. But he barely managed to calm his breathing before Bellatrix was dragging off with him again.
By the time they reached the door to the outside, Harry was lagging behind, only walking because Bellatrix still had a good hold on his arm. "Is my icky nephew getting tired? Perhaps he should take a nap and try again when he is a big boy?" At Bellatrix's taunting Harry pulled his arm free of her grip, straightened himself and scowled at the witch.
"I'm fine." If he turned around now, he knew that she would let him hear of it for a long time to come. And he really didn't look forward to making the whole way up the stairs just so he could get back into the bed he had only just escaped.
Without waiting for her reply, Harry made his way past Bellatrix and through the door, only to be greeted by a gust of cold air that made him wrap his arms around himself.
He didn't get to make a hasty retreat back inside the warmth as Bellatrix nearly bowled into him to get outside herself and Harry was forced to take several steps forward unless he wanted to take a bite of the dirt.
Snickering she held up a silvering fabric which the seer recognised all too well and Harry lunged for her, only to have her step out of his reach. It was strange to see the Lestrange so playful, but after having been around people so serious it was a nice change and Harry didn't hesitate to go after her when Bellatrix set off and started running over the grounds. The look she gave him was a clear challenge which Harry could do nothing but accept. Exactly how she had gotten hold of his Invisibility Cloak didn't matter, but Harry had every intention of getting it back now where he had the chance.
They continued the hunt chase over the lawn, Bellatrix easily dodging each time Harry tried to make a grab for his cloak. Harry was well aware that she could move a lot faster than this, but it seemed like the witch had decided to slow down to give him an actually chance, or at least the illusion of having one.
Bellatrix had turned around and was now running backwards, somehow managing not to fall despite the ground they were running on being far from even, holding the cloak just out of his reach. Harry was panting heavily, and he could feel the sweat running down his back and brow. The air had gotten slightly warmer by now, but he was already warm from running around after this madwoman.
Lunging for the woman, Harry didn't bother to hide his smirk as Bellatrix leaped backwards and out of his reach. At his change of expression the witch paused, sensing that something was going on, and yet having no idea of what it was.
The witch didn't have a chance to react when a thin branch wrapped itself around her midsection before throwing her up in the air where another branch gripped her, and the proceeded to throw her higher up.
Harry ignored Bellatrix's loud shrieks in favour of gathering up the cloak she had dropped in surprise. Frowning he let the fabric shift between his fingers. While there was a great likeliness to his own cloak, it definitely wasn't his, mostly because he could still see his arm when he wrapped the cloth around the limp.
"Oi, Harrykins, get your favourite aunt down from here!" Harry looked up at the yell, finding Bellatrix dangling upside down by her ankles not far from here he stood. The witch looked rather dazzled, and perhaps also a little green around the gills. After the tour the Whomping Willow had given her, Harry was surprised that she had not already puked.
Stepping closer Harry noted her surprise when the tree didn't grab hold of him. It was able to notice that now was not the time for games and allowed Harry to walk over to Bellatrix without any disturbances. "This isn't my cloak." He spoke neutrally, not giving a hint of his disappointment. Being in possession of his Invisibility Cloak would have given him a freedom he lacked now.
"Of course not, your sweet little guardian has it locked away somewhere secret and safe, he claimed that it might make it harder for you to get yourself into trouble. I just wanted to prove him wrong." Somehow it didn't surprise him that something so simple had been the intention of Bellatrix's actions. And he could just imagine how angry it would make two certain Slytherins when they learned what she had done.
Bypassing the witch without another glance in her direction, Harry went directly for the tree trunk, tapping gently against it to make the tree aware of what he wanted. Surprisingly gentle several branches wrapped themselves around his person as they lifted him up. For the first time it wasn't throwing him around in the manner Harry knew that they both normally enjoyed, and it made him wonder how sentiment the plant actually was.
"Harrykins, don't tell me you plan on letting me hang here all day!" Harry cracked an eye open, leaning forward so that he could better look at Bellatrix who hung with her back facing him. While her hair was affected by gravity, her robes and dress were as if she still had both feet planted on the ground. Maybe it was some kind of spell that witches used to avoid public humiliation?
Scratching his chin thoughtfully, Harry kept silent. He wasn't sure that it would be in his favour to let Bellatrix go when she sounded so angry, and she had been bailing him.
On the other hand, she had gotten him outside, and Harry supposed that it counted for something.
Petting the Whomping Willow softly, he signalled for the tree to put her down, figuring that the longer she was kept like this the worse her retaliation would be. He was still breathing heavily, his body felt heavy, weak and if he attempted to walk right now Harry held no doubt that his knees would give out under him.
It seemed like he would be staying here for a while.
Slowly, almost hesitant the tree complied his silent request and put her down within reach, well away from where Harry sat. It didn't escape Harry notice how it had some of its branches positioned ready for attack in case that she tried something, while others sneaked around him, securing him in place.
Satisfied, Harry leaned back against the tree trunk and closed his eyes.
It was strange; the knowledge that only a little over a month had been spent in the company of the Order of Phoenix. It certainly felt as much longer, but his family had no reason to lie to him, especially not as something that was trivial to all the other things that were currently happening.
"Wotcher you two, wonderful day, right?" The joyful, well known voice made Harry's eyes snap open and he would probably have fallen down if not for the branches wrapped tightly around him.
There, in all her pink haired glory stood Nymphadora Tonks, looking like she couldn't be any happier to see them, though she was keeping a respectful distance to the Whomping Willow, which had started to lash out at her loud voice.
Harry blinked and rubbed his eyes, sure that his mind was playing games with him, but when he looked again the witch was still standing there, waving so hard that he wondered how her arm had not fallen off.
How had she gotten out of Gringott's not to speak of getting to Hogwarts?
"Bellatrix?" Already before he had finished speaking, the older witch was on the move, though how she had heard his nearly whispered words was something Harry would have to ponder on on a later time.
Surprisingly, Nymphadora didn't make a move for her wand as the former Black neared her. And Harry understood why when he watched how the Metamorphous was grabbed and pulled into a tight hug by her aunt.
"That's different." Harry mumbled as he took in the sight of the two women greeting each other. Curious about what all this was about, Harry tapped his finger against the tree, signalling that he wanted to be let down, the Whomping Willow complied, albeit reluctantly.
As soon as his feet were touching the ground Harry made his way over to the pair, keeping a wary eye at the newcomer. Nymphadora had helped him and Draco away from the Order, but Harry knew that this wasn't reason enough to trust her, at least not until she had proved the reason behind her actions.
He made it over to them just as they parted, and the looks Bellatrix gave him, as if she was about to jump at him, made Harry stop a little away from them. He wasn't sure if she forgave him for letting the Whomping Willow have a go at her, but he would rather not take the risk. Though, in his mind it made them equal after she had made him believe that she had his cloak. Sadly, he doubted that Bellatrix believed the same.
"Wotcher Harry, good to see that you made it out of there alive." There wasn't any question about what Nymphadora was referring to, and Harry found himself cracking a smile at her cheerful tone. She wasn't quite a granting to listing to now where they were on a more equal setting, as in; Harry actually had a way to get her arse kicked if she attempted anything.
"What are you doing here?" Harry wasn't the only one who winced at his brash question, but he was truly curious to hear the answer. She was Voldemort's spy, was she not supposed to be doing spying business instead of being here?
Nymphadora rubbed the back of her head, laughing freely and not looking the slightest bothered by Harry's question. "I couldn't quite stay when I had been ousted, so I decided to come here where I could be with all you lovely people." At her laughter, Harry took a step back, unsure if the feeling of insanity she gave off was contagious. Or perhaps, it was because of the Black blood running in her veins, and if so Harry wanted to weep, he really hoped that whatever made those people act crazy stayed to the female side of the family, his life was strange enough as it was already, he didn't need more.
Deciding not to bother with it anymore, unless he wanted to suffer from a piercing headache, Harry instead turned his attention back to Bellatrix. "I didn't think that you would care for bloodtraitors?" Harry was well aware that he was close to overstepping some line, if he hadn't already done so, with his question. But he wanted to make some sense out of this.
Huffing Bellatrix ruffled his hair, completely ignoring Harry's protests. "It just happens to be that my little niece is of the redeemable sort. And soon there will be more, and their blood will be pure." Confused Harry raised a brow at Nymphadora, hoping that she would explain what Bellatrix was talking about as the woman had started rambling, seemingly forgetting that she was supposed to explain Harry things.
"It is not safe for a child to have two parents who are spying, so we decided that I would quiet for now and when time comes, we will both have pulled out so we can give our son the best life possible."
Suddenly, Harry found it quite hard to breathe. "You are quitting the rebellion, because you're having a kid?" He had to ask, because Harry was quite sure that he had somehow managed to mishear her.
Nymphadora placed a hand on her stomach, and to Harry's surprise her robes seemed to have concealed a rather noticeable baby bump. "I once heard someone say that the children are our future, so it only makes sense that we, as the parents, should take care of them to our best ability. And if that means stopping spying, then so it be, for now there are others whom can take over our duties."
Feeling creasy Harry spun around and stalked his way back to the castle, his precious fatigue forgotten. When the two witches entered right after him, Harry was already gone, and a castle wide search for the seer was started.
Harry had found a seclude spot on top of the Astronomy tower. It had been a little bothersome to climb out of the window with only one hand, but in the end he had managed to get onto the roof without falling or embarrassing himself in the process.
By now the sun had gotten high on the sky and its rays were warming him. The cloak which he had taken from Bellatrix, while it was not his Invisibility Cloak, it was one though not of as good quality, was bundled up under his head and made a comfortable pillow.
He knew that he should probably get down and prove that he had not run of, gotten kidnapped, or whatever else they thought had happened to him. A few times he had heard people call his name, but he didn't feel for being around others right now.
The unease hadn't left him and until he knew how to deal with it, he fully planned on staying right where he was.
Hearing the door to the room below him open, Harry didn't move. Already, there had been someone in there twice, probably looking for him, but they had left soon enough when they did not find him in there.
However, this time there wasn't the sound of them searching the room before leaving as it had previously been done. Instead the door closed right away and Harry heard someone move across the floor, not bothering to be silent. Even as he heard noises from near the window, Harry remained where he was, it wasn't as if he had another way to get down, and even if the person decided to hang halfway out of the window, they wouldn't be able to spot his hiding place.
He was considering taking a nap when he realised that the noises hadn't disappeared as he had expected them to, in fact they seemed to grow louder.
Intrigued, and slightly annoyed that his alone time seemed about to come to an end, Harry sat up, waiting to see if the person really intended to climb up here to look for him.
Soon enough a blond head was peeking over the edge of the roof, the hair slightly ruffled and the owner didn't look happy about his state. "You know, you have put the whole place on the other end." Draco commented lightly as he swung himself over the edge and onto the secure roof. "They have even gotten the ghost looking for you."
He knew Draco said it to make him feel bad, ignoring it Harry laid down and turned his gaze to the fluffy clouds that were floating above them. "I just need some time alone." If Draco was speaking the truth about the amount of people searching for him, Harry was surprised that he hadn't been found before now.
"And you picked a great place to do so, all the layers of magic here ensures that no point me spell can find you." With a huff the blond crawled over before dropping down next to him, so they lay shoulder to shoulder. "So, what has gotten to you?"
Harry gave a neutral shrug, not sure of how he should explain his thoughts. "I don't understand parents." He commented, not moving his gaze from the sky.
For a while Draco kept silent, and Harry was starting to believe that perhaps his question had not been heard. That might be good, because even to himself it had sounded rather strange. "What has brought this on?"
Harry was tempted to simply shrug, or ignore Draco's question, not sure of how he should explain. "One of Voldemort's spies is pulling out because she is pregnant, she wants to raise her child away from all this." He said the last part with a vague wave to their surroundings. It kept bothering him, that she would do something like that for a yet unborn child. His parents hadn't done that, they had decided to stay in the war, not caring about the fact that they had a child to take care of. He wouldn't be surprised if someone told him that they had remained in Dumbledore's service even while he was still in his mother's womb.
From the look on Draco's face Harry knew that the blond didn't understand the point he was trying to make. At times he really wished that Draco would be able to read his mind so he wouldn't have to explain things. But realising how Draco would make use of such ability, it was probably for the best that he hadn't learnt Legilimency.
"My parents didn't do that." His hands clenched on their own. No matter how he thought about it, it simply made no sense to him. How could his parents have cared so little about him, or was it simply him that was making a problem out of nothing?
"Well, from what I understand, they weren't exactly the perfect example on parenting." Glancing sideways, Harry used the opportunity to simply watch Draco. The time at home had done him good, he looked healthy, albeit a little annoyed, but the potions he had been given certainly had done they purpose.
Draco smirked, looking like he was having a laugh at something or another. "You know, I heard my parents discuss something a few years back. Apparently, Severus was a spy back in his younger days." Harry peeked up at this titbit of information. ""He pulled out of it when you came. Apparently it caused big arguments with several people, but not even our Lord could order him back into action." Somehow that was not too hard to imagine, while Severus had no problem following orders, it only seemed to happen as long as the man saw a purpose in doing it.
Harry smiled as he returned his gaze to the sky. His parents had been shitty, no reason to deny that and they could rot in hell for all he cared, they certainly had proved that they did not. Draco was right, Severus was more of a parent than the Potters had ever been to him, so what was he getting all angsty over? It had to be because of hormones, that were the reason, perhaps it had been too long since he had gotten laid? "Thanks, I needed to hear that."
"I rub your back and you rub mine. So, what have you gotten for my birthday?" Harry didn't bother to contain his smirk as he kept his silence. It was something they went through every year, almost like a strange ritual of some kind, and right now it could be a nice distraction from all that had been happening.
Though, that didn't mean that he intended to give Draco any hints about his gift, and he would probably be greatly annoyed by the blond by the time by the time his birthday rolled around. It didn't lessen the amusement Harry felt when Draco continued pestering him and eventually started trying to guess what kind of gift Harry had gotten for him this year.
By the time the two teens made it down from the roof it was well past midday. Needless to say that no one else was sharing their good mood when the duo ran into some of those who had been responsible for the search.
Harry was returned directly to bed by Severus, with the order of not to leave it again before he had the Healer's clearance. When Harry threatened to sneak off on his own, he found him bound to the bed courtesy of Voldemort, who hadn't been amused by his seer's disappearance either.
One thing he would never be able to understand about hospitals was their need to clad their patients in clothes that was either uncomfortable or didn't seem to match anyone's size. Was it really too much to ask for a pair of pants where the legs didn't cover his feet or a pyjamas shirt where he wouldn't have to pull at the fabric to make it reach his wrists?
And the examination table he was left his feet dangling over the floor with a few inches, making him feel like he was a small kid for his vaccination. It didn't help that Severus was hovering over him, but the man's presence was also helping him to keep calm and stop him from bolting for the door before the Healer would be able to start.
"This is a fairly simple procedure, and I have done it plenty of times before. Things rarely, if ever go wrong, so I see no reason to why now should be any different." He wasn't sure whom this peptalk was meant for, but it made him want to go for the door even more than before. Didn't the man understand that he just jinxed them by saying something like that?
With a hand on his shoulder, Severus guided Harry to lie down. "Healer Moonlight, stop talking nonsense, unless you want to be viewed as an incompetent moron. There are plenty of others we can go to, to get this fixed." Severus spoke true, there were other specialists in this field, but Healer Moonlight was renewed as the best that was, the reason to why he had been chosen and invited to England, and when a Dark Lord personally requested your presence, no one was going to decline.
It was understandable that the man was nervous, but he was putting Harry on an edge with the way he was acting. The two dark haired had brought a small case with them and though Harry hadn't gotten a look inside, he still knew what it contained.
He had been informed that his hand could be put back, and by the Healer's calculation it should be as good as it had been before. Personally, Harry just looked forward to getting to brew again; also, Voldemort seemed to have an unfair advantage when Harry could only use one hand when dealing with the man.
"Why I have never." But the healer stopped himself from more, not obvious to that he was stepping onto thin ice. Instead the rather round stomached man made his way over to the case and opened, not even looking the slightest bit green around the gills when facing with the sight of the cut off hand.
The position he was in proved to be a hindrance to follow the Healer's walk around the room as the man started gathering the necessary tools for this. Having already been talked through the whole process before he even set his feet in St Mungo's, Harry closed his eyes, allowing himself to drift with a little help of the potion he had been feed roughly fifteen minutes ago.
Severus' hand gave his shoulder a clench before moving down and holding Harry's hand, which one of them it was supposed to keep calm the seer wasn't sure about, but he felt better with the Potions master by his side.
Vaguely, Harry was aware of his left arm being picked up, but it somehow seemed to be far away. The touch tickled, making him want to remove his arm, but it felt like it had been turned to lead, probably to prevent him from pulling away.
A warm sensation started at his wrist, slowly moving up his arm and making Harry frown at the feeling. It wasn't uncomfortable per see, just unexpected and unwanted.
Breathing in Harry forced himself to relax.
Breathing out Harry had to admit, that this wasn't as bad as he had expected. The heat filled his whole arm, but it didn't rise above the comfortable level. Why was it that he had been nervous about this?
Taking another breath, Harry broke into a coughing fit when what felt like dust filled his lungs instead of the air he had previously been breathing.
Harry pushed himself up, somewhat not surprised upon finding that he was no longer in the operation room in St Mungo's. With the dust in the air Harry instinctively rubbed his eyes to rid them of the particles.
All the way around him, he could hear people, they were crying, moaning, yelling spells and cursing in different languages, and some of them he was sure didn't belong to humans.
Taking the chance to look down himself, Harry wasn't surprised to find the robes he wore covered by a thick layer of dust. Whatever had happened, it had to have been powerful to cause this. He could feel the dust and so much else clung to his sweaty skin, a sensation he absolutely did not like. And when he moved to get up, Harry found himself sneezing several times into his sleeve to lessen the noise he made. Given the chaos surrounding him Harry would be surprised if anyone actually heard him through all this, but he didn't want to take a chance when he had no idea of what was going on.
Taking a look around Harry squinted. Whatever light source that had been was defect, flickering on and off and ended up being more of an annoyance than helpful.
Was he supposed to move around, or would what he was waiting for be happening where he was? It was rather hard to make a decision when he had no clues to base it on. For all Harry knew he could be missing the whole thing by staying where he was, it had happened a few times, but he didn't see how he should be able to get any information when he wasn't able to see anything.
Taking a few steps forward, Harry found himself falling flat on his face when his foot caught on to something. With a groan Harry reached up and touched his forehead, feeling something wet and warm when his fingers came in contact with his skin, yep, he was definitely a part of this vision, as if the dust in his lungs hadn't been clue enough for him, and he could already tell that this was one he wouldn't be liking for any reason.
Getting up on all fours, Harry was hesitant about moving further around. He knew this was a vision, but right now any damage he sustained would feel like they were real. How strange, that he was a part of the vision, and yet he was not controlled by it.
Knowing that over-thinking, or focusing on things that really should wait for another time, Harry pushed the thoughts aside, concentrating on getting forwards, even if it meant crawling around like a toddler.
He was aware of people around him, yelling and moving around too fast for Harry to reach them in the current way he was moving. At a point he was quite sure that he heard a child's sobbing, but like so much else at this place it didn't seem to stay in place long enough for Harry to get a feeling of where the sound came from.
Harry felt the floor beneath him shake violently as the ground began to collapse. He wasn't able to see anything. All he was able to feel was the floor giving away under him, following by more screams from people he had yet to see anything of, and all he saw was blackness.
Okay, not as much action as I had envisioned, but at least the chapter was long and something happened. But hey, I wrote this in the middle of the night and then had to send it to angelhitomie twice, because first time I accidentally sent it to myself, ups, but that is what the lack of sleep can do to you.
Next: Umm, I think that it's time for some of Harry's visions to come into play, good luck with guessing which ones.
Until next time.